The Western Cape Transport Department has launched Random Breath Testing (RBT) in the province, in an effort to curb drunk driving on the roads.
The pilot phase of the RBT project kicked off in the Overberg on Saturday and will be launched in Cape Town before the end of July.
Teams in distinctive RBT uniforms will conduct rapid, mini roadblocks and screen motorists for alcohol across different points within a designated area .
The department's Siphesihle Dube explains that a crew has been established within the traffic law enforcement unit.
They are distinctive and wear distinctive uniforms that denote Random Breath Testing.— Siphesihle Dube, Spokesperson For WC Transport MEC Donald Grant
They conduct rapid lightweight vehicle check points. They go from spot to spot throughout the shift.— Siphesihle Dube, Spokesperson For WC Transport MEC Donald Grant
The RBT model is based on similar alcohol screening devices used successfully in countries such as Australia, Dube advises.
A driver is asked to blow on a new plastic pipe which is attached to the screening device.
It will immediately detect if a person is over the legal limit of 0.24.
It's a hand held breathalyser that motorists breathe into.— Siphesihle Dube, Spokesperson For WC Transport MEC Donald Grant
If motorists test positive during the alcohol screening, the driver is taken to the nearest shadow centre where a evidentiary Breath Alcohol Test will be conducted or to nearest health facility for a blood sample to be drawn.
A criminal case is then opened, Dube explains.
He says there has been a 20% reduction in alcohol-related fatalities where RBT has been implemented in Australia.
If the RBT is successful in the province, it may be spread to other parts of the country.
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : WATCH: Random breath tests piloted on WC roads